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Bill to allow citizen oversight of Oroville Dam signed into law

A bill that will allow citizen oversight of the Oroville Dam, and the public safety issues that come along with it, was signed into law this week by Governor Jerry Brown.

Governor Brown signed into law Senator Jim Nielsen's legislation to create the Citizens Advisory Commission for Oroville Dam. The measure empowers residents to be involved in public safety issues relating to the dam.

"The failure of the Oroville Dam spillway impacted hundreds of thousands of lives," said Senator Jim Nielsen. "Citizens must have a voice in the public safety and maintenance of the dam; they must feel safe living near the tallest dam in the country."

Senate Bill 955, co-authored by Assemblyman James Gallagher and Senator Bob Hertzberg, would create a 19-member Citizens Advisory Commission for Oroville Dam to provide local residents and state officials a forum to meet and discuss maintenance, findings, reports, and upcoming and ongoing issues.

Membership to the Commission will include the following representation:

  • The City of Oroville
  • The counties of Butte, Sutter, and Yuba
  • Sheriff's of Butte, Sutter, and Yuba
  • Legislative representatives of Oroville
  • The Natural Resources Agency
  • The Department of Water Resources
  • The Office of Emergency Services
  • The Department of Parks and Recreation
  • The California Highway Patrol

Commission members would each serve for terms of no more than three years.

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